Water Ponding/Management

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflondon at mindspring.com
Sun Dec 23 13:12:01 EST 2001

On Sun, 23 Dec 2001 16:21:58 +0100, "keller" <ak.and.ak at on-line.de>

>If you draw lines on the map that run parallel to this key line, you will
>notice that above the key line, the distance of these lines from the next
>higher contour line will increase (because of the divergence). Below the key
>line, these lines are going to cross the next lower contour line (because of
>the convergence). This means that theses lines are actually going _down_
>from the middle of the valley. They conect points higher up on the valley
>bottom with points lower down on the ridge. (see Figure 9 on page 46 in
>"Water for every farm, Ken Yeomans Keyline Plan" - I think that picture is
>also in Mollison's Designer's Manual, but I am not sure. I have just sent my
>last copy to Cameroon, and the new one has not yet arrived. Maybe somebody

>can check.) If you plow with a chisel plow along such lines, water would
>flow allong the furrows from the valley to the ridge. In contrast to this,
>normally water will flow down into the valley on paths perpendicular to the
>contour lines.

The Yeomans Keyline plow system, to my way of thinking (and I have
used the famous Soil Saver) is the best soil conditioning tractor (or
horse/mule) drawn implement in existence, bar none. Have a look at the
website for this product. Amazing.

>Further down below the keyline, if you continue to plow parallel to the
>keyline, the slope of the furrows will become too steep. You must then
>select a new contour line as a guide line and plow parallel to it. The key
>line is the highest line that can be used like this.
>If you plow this way, water will spread evenly over the whole area instead
>of being concentrated in the middle of the valey. Because of the furrows, it
>will also penetrate much deeper into the ground. More water will be stored
>in the soil instead of leaving your farm quickly. Plant roots will reach
>deeper, thus bringing organic matter further down. In subsequent years, you
>can repeat this and plow a bit deeper each time. According to Yeomans, this
>way subsoil can be turned into top soil relatively quickly.
>In any case, get a copy of that book (or CD). May be the best investment in
>your lifetime. Ken Yeomans is also working as a consultant, not cheap, but
>probably well invested money (see his web site).

Thanks for this wonderful explanation of keylines, Andreas. The
keyline principle of water management and soil tilth building is
earthshaking in importance.

L.F.London ICQ#27930345 lflondon at mindspring.com
http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech  london at ibiblio.org

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